I first heard a Laura Nyro (1947–1997) song without knowing it was hers. That was Stoned Soul Picnic performed by The Fifth Dimension – then When I Die by Blood Sweat & Tears. These were songs that stood out from the other work by these groups. In Cape Breton her lps weren’t easy find as she had no hits beyond these cover versions. I think my first lps of hers was Smile & Nested – amazing comforting music not as melodramatic as her earlier works.
I have either as mp3 or strand alone: The First Songs 1967, Eli & The 13th Confession 1968, New York Tendaberry 1969, Christmas & The Beads of Sweat 1970, Gonna Take A Miracle 1971, Smile 1976, Season of Lights live 1977, Nested 1978, Mother’s Spiritual 1984, Angel in the Dark 94-95, Essential 2000, Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro 2014.
She started as a powerhouse hits writer, but by her 1970 she was running out of stream & also wanted to move her music is more introspective direction. So there was five year break where she retrench, married, had children, divorced, moved out of New York city & returned to the studio for two of my favourites Smile & Nested – sweet gentle warm music that didn’t sell well. She lost interest in the music business. Settled down with the love of her life, another woman. I’ve blogged about Laura before & she was a music genius the music business couldn’t dictate to & like some others from the them (Janis Ian) she followed her own muse. The Essentials is a great place to start – or get the Fifth Dimensions Hit 🙂
The mp 3 collection also contains: Burl Ives: 20th Century Masters including – Ghost Riders In The Sky – a favourite of my Dad’s which I had to have. A couple by Ian & Sylvia: Nashville – Ballad of an Ugly Man, Full Circle – Women’s World. I loved these when I had them at vinyl. Two of the best Canadian lps you’ll ever have.
More Canadiana with Gordon Lightfoot’s first that included Ribbon of Darkness. Just for fun Donovan: The EP Collection. The Ep format was very popular in Europe – 4 to 6 songs on a small sized 33.3 – some never released on lips & some with different mixes. Finally Myke Mazzei’s Live At Amsterdam Bicycle Club, includes Nobody’s Saviour. This goes back some 10 years ago & it a sweet set by a talented Toronto singer/songwriter.